ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the Rockies and Columbia Mountains issued April 28th, 2016

Over 3 weeks of WARM weather has eaten up the snowpack below 1700m in most places except along the Divides of the Rockies and Columbias. Before this last bit of precipitation it was hard to imagine theer being a dry snow flake anywhere except maybe in a little shaded pocket somewhere just below the summit ridge of Mt. Robson or Sir Sandford.

There is currently some new snow along the Rockies Divide at Bow Summit and supposedly even 8cm at the Stanley Glacier but it is showing 6 degrees C there so it may not be fluffy pow:)

It is still possible to ski from the Asulkan and Connaught trail heads at Rogers Pass but you will be crossing some creeks if you head up the Asulkan Valley. Creek and especially Lake crossings may just be the crux of many traditional spring skiing venues right now. No swimming with ski gear is generally a good guideline to follow! Plain old bare ground will be a reality on many "ski" approaches. Having said all that, if you could get high enough and had some luck with the overnight recoveries the corn skiing and general travelling has been really good for awhile. It looks like a little more scattered snow may fall in the next couple of days and with the warm temps it should eventually bond well to the old surfaces. Thin Windslabs will likely be a factor for a short time after this storm ends. Large destructive wet slides and loose slides big enough to push around a skier or climber will be the primary concern for the foreseeable future. Cornices and crevasse bridges will be creaking and groaning and trying to decide whether to fail catastrophically or just melt away for a long time yet. Try not to help them with that decision!

Alpine climbing conditions could get good quickly if we get some cool temperatures and good clear nights. They could also get really bad quickly if the freeze is mediocre and the sun/warm air gets to be the boss. Have a good plan, check the snow carefully, make wise decisions, move fast and have some good retreat options.

Ice climbing-HA! Maybe in the alpine arena but I think it is safe to assume that all the classics must have fallen down or melted away.

Rock climbing has been reasonable for a very long time in the sun. The ticks and the bears are out for awhile now and there has been the odd nasty spring rockfall event and new loose holds from the winter's melt freeze cycles.

This is the first ACMG Mountain Conditions Summary for the season and in our new format. We will continue to produce these summaries till the public avalanche forecasts begin again in the fall.

Larry Stanier
ACMG Mountain Guide

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.